Producing a pleasing composition is often much harder to accomplish when painting en plein air versus painting in the studio from photographic material. Being surrounded by the vastness and complexity of a natural setting can provide a degree of intimidation as well as unlimited visual distractions, while the photograph is safe and contained. The photograph’s possibilities are limited to the format and scope of its content. It is already a composition. When the “film” was exposed, compositional decisions were already made, whether conscious or not, and these photographic compositions can become the basis for further creative choices.
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